How And Why do You Edit an Article (even After Yourself)?
How often have you submitted an excellent article, believing it to be flawless, only to find typos, grammatical errors, or factual inaccuracies after publication? The power of editing an article lies in finding its weaknesses.
Take an imaginary pen (a real one if you are writing a love letter) and edit the text with us. We’ll teach you how to proceed, what to look for, and what not to neglect.
How to edit an article effectively
When editing an external or custom article, following the steps will help you. This way, you won’t create double work. If you started by correcting the grammar and then re-styled the text, you would have to check the grammar all over again. What is the ideal way to proceed?
1. Let the article sit
Soup also tastes better when it’s aged. Let the article rest for at least a few hours, and return to it the next day if you can. In hindsight, you will see the text more objectively and in a new light.
2. Start reading for the first time
Read the whole article without interruption, ideally out loud. Concentrate on the overall impression, the flow of ideas, and the structure. Wait to dwell on errors in detail.
3. Follow the flow of the text
Check the logical sequence of arguments, transitions between paragraphs, and the text’s coherence. Do any sections need moving, adding, or removing?
4. Time for stylistic and linguistic corrections
Now, focus on stylistics, vocabulary, and grammar. Look for and remove extra words, phrases, or complete sentences in the article. Let’s see together what to look out for:
Focus on whether you’re saying the same idea twice somewhere. If you say something in a subheading, there’s no need to repeat it in the first sentence of a paragraph or a few sentences further down.
Look for words you have used several times in the text and replace them with pronouns or synonyms. Use CTRL+f to make it easier. If you run out of words, use a synonym dictionary to help you.
In this article, you’ll learn what mistakes we make most often in articles. How to get rid of these mistakes?
After editing, the sentence looks like this:
In the article, you will learn what writing mistakes we often make. How to get rid of them?
Adverbs and particles
The auxiliary words we use in conversation often find their way into written texts. These extra words include such, these, quite, actually, therefore, and like.
Thanks to this article, you’ll definitely figure out how to edit text well.
So, let’s take a look at such common mistakes in articles.
Read both sentences again without adverbs and particles. Do they give you the same meaning and even read better, punchier, and more accessible? Use adverbs and particles only where necessary, or take the text further in meaning.
As with adverbs, you will do the same with adjectives. Avoid unnecessary overuse; if they merely duplicate the meaning of what is being said, remove them from the text.
Subordinating clauses make the text more difficult to read and unnecessarily long. Go through these kinds of clauses in the text and see if you can edit them.
The article will give you information that will be useful for your future writing.
After editing, the sentence looks like this:
The article will give you helpful information for your future writing.
Replace the past participle with the active voice.
Replace the passive voice with the active voice in the text. Although professional and journalistic texts work with the passive voice, you should speak more naturally to the reader in blog articles. Let’s look at some examples.
The editing was done by a professional editor.
A professional editor took care of the editing.
The deal was closed on Monday morning.
They closed the deal on Monday morning.
The length of the sentences in the article
In the Victorian era, the ideal number of words in a sentence was 29. In the 19th century, this number was reduced to 23 words. Today, marketers talk about 14 to 18 words. The number of words decreases directly to our ability to perceive text. Our attention is constantly exposed to distractions such as social media and the amount of information coming at us from all sides.
Therefore, focus on the text’s overall melody more than the sentence’s length. Alternate short sentences with long ones, and be bold and use one-word sentences if they improve the dynamics of the text.
5. Check the factual data while editing the article
When you have edited the text stylistically, make sure that all names, information, and dates in the text are accurate and spelled correctly. Also, check and update references and sources.
6. Ask for feedback on the edited article
If you have the opportunity, give the article to a colleague, peer, or roommate to read if you have a home office. (Although criticism from a spouse can be hard to take, we understand.) However, the perspective of an uninvolved person can bring a new perspective to the article.
7. Hooray for the final inspection
Lastly, go over the article one more time to make sure it’s ready for publication.
Think of editing as an opportunity to increase the value of your content. Whether you are a newbie blogger or a skilled author, quality editing can turn your article into excellent content. Please pay attention; it can mean an average and an excellent article.